Simple (and Delicious) Uses for Green Tomatoes

by Merissa on August 7, 2016

in Gardening 101, Recipes

Uses for Green Tomatoes - Find the perfect way to use up the extra green tomatoes from your garden!

Uses for Green Tomatoes

Perhaps you aren't quite to that time yet of the year yet (aka: the hard freeze) but are beginning to think about it. Tomatoes are one of the things we will always pick all of, green or ripe, because there are things you can do with them either way.  Take a look below at uses for green tomatoes that you may not have thought of.

Uses for Green Tomatoes:

1. Ripen the tomato indoors.
You can either place the tomato in the window where the sun will ripen it, or you can try another method. Clean the tomato and then wrap it in newspaper and set in a cool place. Check on it daily and within a few days you should have a red tomato. If you are able to pull out the entire plant and have space for it, hang up the plant upside down in a warm place for a few days and watch the tomatoes continue to ripen.

2. Give your sauce a boost.
You can blend your green tomatoes along with a few tablespoons of white wine and get a tasty puree that will give your traditional tomato sauces a boost. Just puree and pour into your sauce.

3. Make fried green tomatoes.
This is an old Southern favorite and a great way to use those green tomatoes. First, slice tomatoes and then dip in an egg wash. Place the tomato slice in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Next, place in a pan of hot oil and fry until golden brown.

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4. Add to your vegetable sir fry.
If you are making an assorted veggie stir fry, chop or slice your green tomatoes finely and add them in. You can toss them with a little oil and salt and pepper first if you wish for extra tasty flavor.

5. Make green tomato pickles.
Have you made Green Tomato Pickles yet? Make some! If you don't like the spiciness you can always leave that out. This is one of the best ways to use green tomatoes because their high level of acidity makes for a great pickle.

6. Add to your omelets.
Green tomatoes add excellent color and flavor to your morning meal! Just chop the tomato finely and toss into your omelet or scrambled eggs. Such an easy, tasty, and healthy way to enjoy those tomatoes. While you are chopping up the tomatoes for your omelet, be sure and chop up a few extras for omelets on the following days. several meals...one prep. 🙂

7. Grill them!
You can put your green tomatoes on skewers or slice and place on the grill directly. As a result, they will taste smoky, meaty, and quite tasty. If you'd prefer, you can soak them in marinade prior to grilling if you wish or just season with salt and pepper.

Uses for Green Tomatoes

8. Feed them to your chickens.
It seems like this one is kind of a given if you have chickens, but just as a reminder...if you can't find anything you want to make with the green tomatoes, your chickens will always enjoy a fresh snack!

9. Make a BLT.
A BLT is a super easy meal and you can pair it with the acidity of a green tomato to give it a special color and a little bit of an extra kick. You can fry your tomato in a batter or just in a bit of olive oil before serving it on the sandwich.

10. Make a relish.
Finally, if you've got a great recipe for a tomato relish, you can replace the red tomatoes in it with your green tomatoes.

See how easy it can be to use those green tomatoes? When you are thinking and planning ahead you can find some wonderful uses for things so that they never have to go to waste. The next time you find a sad little green tomato that fell off the vine too soon or you have to pick because of a frost, give one of these tips and tricks a try and give it a second life. Because with these ideas in the back of your mind, there are so many practical and tasty choices to pick from!

What are your favorite uses for green tomatoes?

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pam October 11, 2013 at 8:17 am

Luckily we have not had a hard freeze yet, but will very soon.. I still have a lot of green tomatoes, and had no idea what to do with them.

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2 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

Well now you have some new ideas! 🙂

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3 Tricia October 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

You can make cake with them! Or salsa Verde.

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4 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

Cake? Do you have a recipe to share? 🙂

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5 Lynn October 11, 2013 at 10:05 am

I just made a TRIPLE batch of the most yummiest of green tomato salsa! ; )

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6 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 10:07 am

That sounds yummy, I love salsa!

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7 Laurie October 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm

I make green salsa with mine. It becomes the base for my shrimp and sausage gumbo that I make. It’s also good over cream cheese.

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8 Lynn October 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Great ideas Laurie! Going to have to try that.

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9 Lynn October 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

Recipe for ONE batch:
5 lbs green tomatoes , 1-3 yellow onions , 1-2 jalapeno peppers more if you like hot, 4 red bell peppers, I used what I had so yellow and green too. Just make sure it’s 4 altogether. 6 garlic cloves, 1 cup shredded zucchini since I had some in the frig. 1 cup lemon or lime juice.. I use lemon had that in the frig too.. 1/2 cup vinegar, 1TBSP salt I used table salt. but pickling would work too..1/2 TBSP cumin, 1 TBSP oregano, Or Itailano spice from Costco because I had that..2tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 2tsp sugar…

Chop ingred. to your liking. I just used my food processor to make it thick instead of chunky. OH you don’t need to take the skin off green tomatoes. Just wash and chop… super easy!!

Bring to a boil.. then simmer for abt 1 hour… bottle and water bath for abt 15 mins…Store bottle in fridge if doesn’t seal. Otherwise, put away on shelves. So easy and SO good! I ate an entire bottle myself for lunch one day with some whole grain crackers. ; )

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10 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 10:12 am

Thank you for sharing that!

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11 Jennifer October 11, 2013 at 11:00 am

Green tomato ketchup…I made some already, delish!

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12 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

Recipe?

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13 Jennifer October 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Green tomato ketchup

4lbs tomatoes
2 large onions
1t black pepper
1T ground mustard
1t worchesteshire sauce
1 1/2 Cups white vinegar
1/2 Cup honey
Simmer all ingredients except honey for 2-3 hours. Blend and and return to pot. Strain if desired. Add honey(I used raw can sugar). You’re done! At this point you can store in fridge or can in a water bath. Process pints for 15 minutes. Enjoy the yummy goodness!

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14 Merissa October 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Thank you for sharing!

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15 Jennifer October 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

4lbs tomatoes
2 large onions
1t black pepper
1T ground mustard
1t worchesteshire sauce
1 1/2 Cups white vinegar
1/2 Cup honey
Simmer all ingredients except honey for 2-3 hours. Blend and and return to pot. Strain if desired. Add honey(I used raw can sugar). You’re done! At this point you can store in fridge or can in a water bath. Process pints for 15 minutes. Enjoy the yummy goodness!

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16 Samantha McClellan October 12, 2013 at 8:34 am

I made Salsa Verde with mine… it turned out great 🙂

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17 Donna in SC October 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

When we have been fortunate enough to have a few green tomatoes at the end of the season, we would make green tomato pie. It’s made like an apple pie except using green tomatoes and a little extra sugar….I liked to add a few raisins and lots of cinnamon.

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18 Elise October 13, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Ill have to keep the stir- fry tip in mind, i love stir fry! We usually use green tomatoes for green tomato relish – delicious!

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19 Andrea October 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Mmm, those tomatoes look so good! I have been wanting to make fried green tomatoes for a while! Our tomatoes were attacked by whiteflies and they destroyed our plants 🙁 But I will pin this and keep it in mind for next year’s bounty!

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20 Steven Smith October 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

Make a green tomato pie! Double crust pie. Slice thin green tomatoes and about 1 lemon. Layer tomato, lemons, sugar, instant tapioca and a drizzle of molasses until you fill up the pie crust. You’ll use a total of about 3/4-1C. sugar. Put a pat of butter on top and put on top crust. Bake in oven at 425 for 15 minutes and 350 for the rest of the hour. Let it cool and enjoy! It’s old fashioned and a unique taste that makes a nice afternoon dessert.

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21 TabWood October 30, 2013 at 12:37 pm

All I got was mostly green tomato’s this year . I made green tomato salsa just like you would make red. I did add some red tomato sauce and some tomato past to it and it worked great.

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22 joyce bailey October 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I have made GREEN TOMATO JAM really good here is how I make mine 5 cups ground/ shredded green tomatoes ,4 cups Sugar, 2 small pkgs or 1 large pkgs jello any flavor I used my blender to puree my tomatoes , bring tomatoes to a boil,add sugar and slow boil for 15 min. take off stove and stir in jello until well mixed , fill jars and water bath for 10 min .

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23 Merissa October 30, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Thank you for sharing that recipe!

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24 Linda February 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Thanks for the recipe. My mom use to make this and I lost the recipe for it.

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25 Donna H. October 31, 2013 at 11:06 am

I use my green tomatoes for pie, in salsa verde, in freezer raspberry green tomato jam, in canned blueberry green tomato jam, in apple green tomato chutney, and I dry the rest in slices or can them in slices for fried green maters through the winter. I also did some tomolives a couple of years ago that were wonderful!!!

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26 Jennifer Neddo December 29, 2013 at 11:14 am

My favorite relish recipe is made with green tomatoes instead of cukes, don’t have the recipe off hand but I’m sure folks can google and find it

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27 Ruth February 26, 2014 at 9:14 am

Green Tomatoe Pie (taste of apple pie, but small children may not like it)
5 medium green tomatoes
1 T. butter or coconut oil or palm oil
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. flour
Note, do not cut down on the spices. If done wrong, might taste like mincemeat pie or etc. If you’re like me, it might taste good regardless, but if made correctly, one child might like it (of several, and adults).

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28 Crystal C May 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm

We can our green tomatoes to use for making fried green tomatoes over the winter. Very easy.

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29 Lori June 10, 2014 at 12:33 am

My family originates from Mexico and in my home we grew up with green tomatoes, my grandma says they’re called “Tomatillos” (the double l, ll, makes a y sound in Spanish), we use them everyday! Mostly in “Salsa Verde” = Green Salsa, which is a typical Mexican salsa that is recognized anywhere, made with the green tomatoes, garlic, a bit of onion, and chiles! You can adjust how spicy it is and it gives plenty of meals an extra kick!

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30 Darlene June 12, 2015 at 9:32 am

Green Tomato Pie, tastes like apple pie and Taste of Home has a 5 star recipe. Try it, you’ll be surprised how good it is.

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31 Angie June 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm

New use! New use! Mock fruit jam! There are several recipes online. What I did was run my green tomatoes through my Ninja, a food processor should work fine too. 4 cups of that, 4 cups of sugar and 1 6oz package of jello. Warning, only use very strong flavors. Black cherry, and raspberry work well. Other reviewers all said orange, lemon, and strawberry do NOT work. This year I’m going to order some black raspberry jello for the green tomato glut. I had a five gallon bucket full last year when we had to pull for the frost. I can the jam in a water bath for 10 minutes. Don’t panic if it doesn’t look set. This jam needs to be cool, basement or refridgerator to set properly. The kids love the bright colors. It doesn’t exactly taste like the fruit you’re faking, but so far I’ve had no complaints about the taste either.

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32 Merissa July 1, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Thank you for sharing this!

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33 Ashley Ward August 12, 2016 at 10:03 am

I just love your blog. I always find so much useful information! Thanks for sharing. I still have a lot of green tomatoes and out frost will be coming probably late September. Not sure all will ripen. May have to put some of these tricks to use.

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34 Laura August 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm

When I was younger (about 15) and healthy(am now bed bound in pain) I had lots of green tomatoes, never could get them to ripen – think UK, shadowy garden, no greenhouse. I made green tomato marmalade. It was lovely. I don’t like marmalade due to the bitter peel but this was just green tomatoes, sugar and lemon juice. I read above about putting gelatine in jam. Is this common in the US? Love and blessings.

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35 Grammy September 11, 2016 at 10:46 pm

Had to go read your post after seeing the title. Until then, the only thing I knew you could do with them is to fry them. Yum, so tasty. Visiting from Merry Monday Link Party #121.

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36 Michelle September 11, 2016 at 11:28 pm

Great ideas!
We are sadly approaching that time of year!
Looking forward to trying some of your ideas!
Thanks
Michelle

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37 Jamie @ Medium Sized Family September 15, 2016 at 7:35 am

What a great collection of recipes for green tomatoes! I have a feeling with the extra warm weather we are experiencing that people will have more green tomatoes than usual when the first frost finally hits.

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38 Camille September 15, 2016 at 9:56 pm

I think I’m gonna love my omellete with green tomatoes!

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39 Camille September 15, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Now you gave me an idea! Gonna used them with my omellete!

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40 Angie Rose September 18, 2016 at 8:42 pm

I really love adding green tomatoes to my omelets! I’ve been doing it with my green zebra variety 🙂

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